With December just around the corner it seems so appropriate to visit the Nativity town of the birthplace of baby Jesus. But my reality of this little town that I used to sing about in hymns at school is not what expected to see.
Bethlehem is actually part of the West Bank and lays beyond the wall that separates Palestine and Israel. The wall is covered in graffiti of messages of peace, and Israeli soldiers check each vehicle that enters.
People live here as they have done for hundreds of years but where is the Nativity scene? Where are the stables and the little donkey?A Palestine refugee camp sits within and people who are born here will probably never leave. Jerusalem is a walkable distance away but the people of Bethlehem need permission to enter the city.
Instead there are soldiers, refugee camps and hoards of tourists. My image has been shattered and all I can think is ‘Poor little town…'
I travelled to Israel as a solo female. If you're looking to travel alone to Israel, there's lots of advice to help you plan your trip on the Girl about the Globe website.